Purchased from: Amazon Canada Guitar Center
Features — 8
2007 Dean Dime Signature Black & Blue Hell Bolt Guitar, a crafted build from Indonesia. Tune-o-Matic String Thru Body Bridge. Mahogany body bolted with Canadian Maple "C" Neck, Grover Tuners, Dean DMT Dimebucker Blade bridge pickup, Dean DMT Humbucker neck pickup. A guitar cable and some Allen key wrenches were included in the box. No case. One volume knob dial for the bridge pick up and one volume knob dial for the neck pick up. Both dials are Dime designed. Also, one dual master tone knob dial that is standard Dean designed with one 3-way switch. I found the 14 to 1 Grover tuners really can withstand hard playing and hold tune after several songs performed live, even when the guitar is being rocked around the stage. I like being confident that my instrument is gonna stay in tune no matter if beer, sweat or spit, usually mine, happen to make contact with fans or other bandmembers that this guitar can hold the line.
Sound — 9
Playing a hard rock/thrash metal style, this guitar really stands at the front of the pack, the pack of guitars in my collection that is! This guitar was sealed in its original factory box. So that's Indonesia to Florida, USA then to Vancouver, CAN and finally to my door in Thunder Bay, CAN, on the shores of Lake Superior and just a few miles from the Canada/USA Border crossing located in North Minnesota/Northwestern Ontario. Dean packed the box full of bubble wrap and foam soft sheeting, making sure that the guitar was secure inside the 2 layers of boxes it was delivered in. For all those 1000's of miles the instrument didn't have a scratch on it. It sounds great through my Line 6 Spider III 210 120w amp. It's the Dean DMT Dimebucker Blade pickup that makes all the difference, even though it's not in the same league as the Seymour Duncan Dime Blade pickup it still adds a big benefit to the guitars overall sound.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
Factory set up was good, no buzzing on the frets and the action was low the way I like it. I was able to buy this 2007 model production year guitar brand new in 2015 as some friends had put old stock in hiding within the warehouse. This model series is nicknamed: Dean Dime Signature "Black & Blue Hell Bolt" Guitar for its blue/white colored lightning bolts graphic that most resemble, in tribute, the bolts graphic of the "Dean From Hell" guitar. This guitar had a quality build crafted in Indonesia. In the two thousand teens (2013, 2014, 2015 etc.) construction of this Dean model series was moved to China and as a result the quality of build went downhill in my opinion.
Reliability & Durability — 9
This guitar does well live. I never play a show with just one guitar as I like to use a Epiphone Les Paul 100 Honeyburst guitar for drop D tunings and a Ibanez Star Destroyer MK II XP300w Edge III Floyd Licensed Tremolo for styles needing wham-bar work. I can say this Dean Dime Black Bolt can handle whatever is dished out in all live situations. The hardware is gonna get the job done and last the lifetime of the guitar. Overall this is a solid build for a $300 to $400 dollar guitar. No guitar in this price range should be rated 10 as well, none of the guitars features should be rated 10. You do get a guitar that will give solid service and last many years.
Overall Impression — 8
I was lucky to get this 2007 model series brand new in 2014 by having friends in the right place at a Amazon warehouse. I would never by a Black Bolt from 2010 model series on as Dean has reduced the guitars quality since 2010. 1st moving production from Indonesia to China, dropping the mahogany body for basswood and dropping the DMT Dimebucker Blade pickup in favor of a Dean humbucker in 2015. All these changes has made the newest editions of the Black Bolt shadows of their former model series. But if you can find a 2010 model year and older then buy it as these guitars had good solid quality for the money spent. I feel the 2007 production year model with its blue and white colored hue lightning bolts on the midnight black finish is a standout in build quality, play ability, sound generation and one of the best stock finishes ever put onto a guitar surface.